MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn has issued the following update via the band's official web site:
"Well, well, well...
"Long time no talk ya'll, what's crack-a-latin'!!??!!
"'ZANG Robb, what's the reason for the lag in diaries?'
"Believe it or not, we're still recording! Yes, we're still in the studio tracking!! We... uh... er... grossly underestimated how long it was going to take to record the guitars on this mofo. I guess it never really dawned on us before recording began, but 'The Blackening' is by far the most complex, dynamic, and ambitious album we have ever even attempted to pull off. We have officially pushed ourselves well beyond our musical standards this time around. Ya heard of PINK FLOYD's 'The Wall'? Well, I've been joking that this album is 'The Wall' of thrash metal. Seriously though, the riffage, the harmonies, the octaves, the layers, and friggin' three 10-minute-long songs, and one nine-minute song that has about 75 riffs in it has well... made things go a little slower than planned. It certainly didn't seem like it would when we went in but WOW... who knew. Throw in a weeks worth of guitar breakage with four volume pots blowing, two replaced pickups, tuning peg breakage, bending neck, add that in with 'Bubba' (my supreme 5150... 'The More Things Change' 5150!) going down for a week, me getting sick during vocal tracking, and shit, might as well throw in my license plate(s) getting stolen, and my car getting busted into twice in two weeks, window getting broken, and stereo getting stolen twice (...fuckin' Oakland!) and you've got a snapshot of why it's taken a little longer than expected.
"The good news is, the finish line is in sight, and things that have held us up are not the kind of obstacles where we're like, 'Oh man, what are we doing?' or 'Jeez, the songs don't feel right,' it's the type of obstacles where each time you get over one of them, you hear a little bit more of the bigger picture of 'The Blackening', and each time we're like, 'FUCK!... this is awesome!!!' I'm telling you fuckers, this shit is a monster!!! It's a big, ugly, dark, mean, fiery, beautiful, beast of a monster!
"SO... yeah, it could be going better... but man, it could be going WAY worse.
"Like you guys always say, 'just be totally honest,' and so there you have it.
"There have been some really cool, amazing moments, without a doubt. [Phil] Demmel has been putting the finishing touches on his leads, and you're gonna freak! The Lord of the Low-End Frequency — Mr. Adam Duce — has been absolutely KILLING IT on the bass... Jesus! Lyrics are coming together splendidly, and they are the most fucked up shit we've ever done. They don't tread lightly around the topics they cover... everything from the war, to organized religion rising in power, to love, death, suicide, depression, ignorance and racism... they're fucked. Some people I've played it for have said it's the darkest shit we've ever written. I've also been incorporating a new technique I came up with, of dropping out the conjunction-esque words that connect other words (the, of, and, etc.) and simplifying the train of thought. It kinda reads weird, but listening to it in a song makes the impact a lot more powerful and direct.
"One of the best moments though was having a bunch of [MACHINE HEAD message] board members come in and sing back-ups on the song 'Clenching The Fists Of Dissent'. Some were friends already, some of them became friends that night, but man, in the end it was really fucking cool. We busted out the super-duper-enormo bottle of Grey Goose vodka, bought a shitload of beer, and proceeded to get hammered! We then broke them into groups of six to sing the 'fight''s. We even had a group of our girls and they KICKED ASS, but in the end, the fans ruled the day. Here are some shots courtesy of our boy Dirt Jr.
"We're sending songs off to Colin [Richardson] to start mixing tomorrow, and we'll have more updates soon... I promise!!!"
"The Blackening" is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2007 via Roadrunner Records.